May 1, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 05/01/2008

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Clinton Gas-Tax Proposal Criticized - A growing chorus -- including a top congressional Democrat -- labeled Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's proposal for suspending the federal gasoline tax ineffective and shortsighted yesterday, even as she continued to paint Sen. Barack Obama as insensitive to drivers' woes for not endorsing the plan. (READ MORE)

Doan Ends Her Stormy Tenure as GSA Chief - General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan has resigned as head of the government's premier contracting agency at the request of the White House, ending a tumultuous tenure in which she was accused of trying to award work to a friend and misusing her authority for political ends. (READ MORE)

Alleged Driver for Bin Laden Boycotts Military Hearing - GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, April 30 -- Salim Ahmed Hamdan carried out his threat Wednesday morning to boycott military commission hearings here, opting to sleep in his prison cell while lawyers debated legal motions ahead of his scheduled trial in late May. (READ MORE)

Army Policy - The Army's policy for female soldiers was set in 1992. It allows women to "serve in any officer or enlisted specialty or position except in those specialties, positions, or units (battalion size or smaller) which are assigned a routine mission to engage in direct combat... (READ MORE)

Russia's Moves Add To Strains With Georgia - MOSCOW, April 30 -- Long-standing tensions between Russia and Georgia over two separatist regions in Georgia have flared dangerously in recent days with each country accusing the other of provocative actions that risk war. (READ MORE)

N. Korea to give nuke files to U.S. - North Korea has tentatively agreed to give the United States thousands of records from its Yongbyon nuclear reactor dating back to 1990 to complement an expected declaration of its nuclear programs, administration and congressional officials said yesterday. (READ MORE)

Congress' ethanol affair is cooling - Members of Congress say they overreached by pushing ethanol on consumers and will move to roll back federal supports for it — the latest sure signal that Congress' appetite for corn-based ethanol has collapsed as food and gas prices have shot up. (READ MORE)

Hayden warns of Russian unrest - Russia's declining population will require Moscow to import foreign workers, increasing racial and religious tensions in the former superpower that still has thousands of nuclear weapons, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said. (READ MORE)

Clinton sheds tough image - Gone is the tough and all-business presidential candidate who regularly blared at rival Sen. Barack Obama, who lately is instead battling self-inflicted wounds. In her place is what most people who know her well say was there all along — a warm and engaging woman willing to laugh at herself. (READ MORE)

The Big Easy - We're referring not to New Orleans but to the Federal Reserve, which yesterday continued its habit of cutting interest rates into inflation-tempting territory. The statement by the Open Market Committee signaled some ambiguity about future rate cuts, without referring specifically to a "pause," but the problem is that when in doubt the current Fed always seems to err on the side of easier money. (READ MORE)

Return of the Web Tax - New York Governor David Paterson is not repeating the worst mistakes of his predecessor. That's too high, or perhaps we should say too low, a bar. Still, the new Governor has resurrected one of Eliot Spitzer's least popular ideas, a tax on Internet sales that he hopes will raise more than $70 million a year. Despised by consumers and constitutional scholars alike, this new tax will hit e-shoppers within weeks. (READ MORE)

The Census Follies - This is supposed to be the digital age, but over at the Census Bureau they're still partying like it's 1799. The Constitution requires that the national population be counted every 10 years. This time around, the Census Bureau wanted to do things differently, ditching paper for handheld computers that Census workers could use to collect and transmit data from those who don't fill out the forms sent through the mail. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Arthur Herman: Democrats and the Killing Fields - Most people have never heard of Operation Frequent Wind, which ended on April 30, 1975, 33 years ago. But every American has seen pictures of it: the Marine helicopters evacuating the last U.S. personnel from the embassy in Saigon, hours before communist tanks rolled into the city. Thousands of desperate Vietnamese gathered at the embassy gate and begged to be taken with them. Others committed suicide. Those scenes are a chilling reminder of what happens when a great power decides to cut and run. (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: Where Were Obama's Friends? - It's tough being Everyman. Way back when, before the angry and antic prophet Jeremiah rose to smite him, Barack Obama appeared before us as an open presidential vessel, into which many poured their political dreams. Foremost were black Americans. Bill Clinton famously diminished the Obama candidacy during the South Carolina primary as just one more Jesse Jackson fling. But across the black community, support for this candidate clearly had deeper roots. (READ MORE)

Amity Shales: Judging the Judges - Town fathers of Norway, take note. You have a new adversary in Ellen Anderson. Ms. Anderson is the Minnesota state senator who is pushing legislation to freeze foreclosures on homes with subprime mortgages in the name of "protecting the American dream." The economic chill from such a move – and from other attempts to protect "the American dream" from mortgage meltdown – would likely be felt around the world by pension plans, banks and municipalities that have invested in mortgage-backed securities. (READ MORE)

Paul D. Ryan: Blame Congress for Inflation - Yesterday, the Federal Reserve lowered the fed-funds rate to 2%, its lowest level since late 2004. In a nod to growing inflation fears, the Fed said "it will be necessary to continue to monitor inflation developments carefully." But if we really want to do something about inflation, Congress should repeal the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act of 1978, which dangerously diverted the Fed from its most important job: price stability. When the Fed was created in 1913, its principal role was to maintain a sound currency with stable prices. But Humphrey-Hawkins changed the Fed's mandate... (READ MORE)

Mia Farrow & Eric Reeves: The Darfur War Crimes Test - This week marks a grim and largely unnoticed anniversary. On April 27, 2007, International Criminal Court judges issued arrest warrants for two men involved in the massive, ongoing atrocities in the Darfur region of western Sudan: Former state minister of the interior Ahmed Haroun, and Ali Kushayb, a key leader of the brutal Arab militia known as Janjaweed. Both are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Evidence in the ICC cases against both men is overwhelming, including numerous eyewitness accounts from victims as well as compelling documentary evidence. (READ MORE)

Ann Coulter: Obama Campaign Gives Up On Finding "Mr. Wright" - Whew! I'm certainly glad to hear the "snippets" from Rev. Jeremiah Wright's sermons "in context." In the famous B. Hussein Obama speech that sent a tingle down Chris Matthews' leg, Obama dismissed the clips of Rev. Wright being played on TV as mere "snippets." He claimed the media were highlighting Wright's "most offensive words," complaining that they had been played endlessly, as if repetition were the problem with the statement: "GOD DAMN AMERICA!" It's absolutely unheard of to repeat passages from famous speeches. In fact, I have a dream that we will not do that. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: The Half-Won, Half-Lost War - The gloomy election-year refrain is that America is mired in Iraq, took its eye off Afghanistan, empowered Iran and is losing the war on terror. But how accurate is that pessimistic diagnosis? First, the good news. For all the talk of a recent Tet-like offensive in Basra, the Mahdi Army of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr suffered an ignominious setback when his gunmen were routed from their enclaves. This rout helped the constitutional — and Shiite-dominated — government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki renew its authority, and has encouraged Sunnis to re-enter government. (READ MORE)

William Perry Pendley: States' Decade-Old "Dialogue on Race" Dooms Quotas - On March 18, Senator Barack Obama urged what the media labeled a “national dialogue on race.” One week later, Colorado’s Secretary of State approved a ballot initiative to permit Colorado voters to participate, along with three other States, in a dialogue on race that began over a decade ago. If past is indeed prologue, on Election Day, these four States will join California, Washington, and Michigan in embracing Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s sentiment, “In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.” Other States will join them. (READ MORE)

Chuck Colson: Why We’re Losing Our Right to Speak Out - David Woodward is a political science professor at Clemson University—one who has first-hand experience on how dangerous it can be to speak out in favor of traditional values: He almost lost his job over it. In 1993, Woodward was asked to testify about the political power of homosexual groups in American life. He agreed to serve as an expert witness for the state of Colorado, which was fighting to defend the recently passed Amendment Two, which made it illegal to give protected status based on sexual orientation. (READ MORE)

William Rusher: What's 'Out of Context'? - Whenever a political figure lets fly with some remark that bounces badly, he or she is likely to protest that it was taken "out of context." The implication is that, if the critics would just read (or, better yet, quote) the rest of the speech, the offending utterance would be seen in a different and far less offensive light. But is that really true? The defender of the statement almost never points to anything else in the speech that actually modifies the damage done by the words in question. We are asked to assume that it is there, somewhere, but it is never quoted for our benefit -- or the speaker's. (READ MORE)

Maggie Gallagher: The Reverend and the Cardinal - This God thing, it's a two-edged sword. As candidate for president, Sen. Barack Obama has played up his faith credentials. He's a new kind of Democrat, comfortable talking God in a country where church is separated from state, but where religion simply cannot be totally severed from people's political preferences (as Mitt Romney found to his dismay). This week, Barack Obama had a revelation: Yes, he can! He can disown the pastor who converted him to Christianity, married him to his wife and baptized both his children. "I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday," Obama told assembled reporters. (READ MORE)

John McCaslin: Saga Diversion - While Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continue to duke it out for the Democratic nomination for president, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is trying to refocus some of his party's negative attention on Republican candidate Sen. John McCain. "John McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. He's said it, and it's on tape," Mr. Dean recalled this week, although he opined that the McCain camp "viciously" attacks anyone who references the 100 years comment as "deliberately misleading voters." (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: The Sheehaning of Jeremiah Wright? - Here is an interesting thought, but I must confess it comes not from me, but from a reader, Diane S, who reminded me of this piece (which I am reposting here) and wondered whether Jeremiah Wright, “in the thick of a white-hot media spotlight” is falling prey to the same destructive disease of ego expansion that has struck and deranged others. I think perhaps Wright is not under the same spell. I have no doubt that he is enjoying the attention and his new-found prominence, but I don’t think he is finding “love” and “validation” in the media glare, as seemed to be the case with Cindy Sheehan, Gore, and maybe post 2000-primaries John McCain. (READ MORE)

K MacGinn: Political Correctness: A Mask For Theophobia - The Politically Correct preach tolerance and open-mindedness; but, in reality these charitable thoughts are only for select groups. It is acceptable to openly and frequently deride Christians. And, working in education for these 24 years, I've heard hate-filled speech and bigoted thoughts plainly expressed -- from my own colleagues. And this, my friends, is another point of bullsh@*% I find in political correctness: tolerance for certain groups, intolerance for others. Hollywood and the entertainment industry are notorious for their open hatred of Christians. Over the years, there have been hateful movies released, TV shows with negative portrayals of Christians, musicians with hate-filled imagery, and currently a spate of authors attacking Christianity. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Ask Not for Whom the Death Toll Tolls - On March 25th, Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered a surprise attack on Sadrite militiamen in Basra. It was such a surprise, he forgot to tell the American forces about it until a couple of days before it began. We scrambled to catch up with the Iraqi Army to give them the close-air support and logistics they needed. For a while, the battle for Basra seemed a bit dicey; a green Iraqi unit broke and ran during a counterattack, but Maliki was quickly able to replace them with forces he brought in from elsewhere in Iraq. Another front opened in Sadr City, a slum section of Baghdad controlled for many years by the Mahdi Militia; we took the lead there, and we've seen much success. (READ MORE)

Jeffrey Imm: The Continuing Debate Over "Jihadists" As The Enemy - Last week, the Associated Press reported that the State Department approved National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) guidelines for terminology in defining the enemy created by NCTC's Extremist Messaging Branch, based on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report "Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims". In these new guidelines, the term "jihadist" (among others) was not to be used in defining the enemy or its actions. But this week, it is apparent that these new guidelines are not being reflected in the State Department annual terrorist report and in comments from President Bush. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Aller gegen alle - Those of you who remember the Three Stooges will recall the scenes in which the middle Stooge bops the other two when they aren't looking, causing them to turn on each other while he watches in glee. If you think the Three Stooges are infantile, just wait until you see the Democratic Party. James Wolcott writing in Vanity Fair is almost on the verge of saying this, but hangs back at the edge simply because he has to pretend that politics is serious. But events are so bizarre that Wolcott, in spite of himself, has to people his drama with characters from epic Hollywood movies. (READ MORE)

Discerning Texan: Why we Have High Gas Prices and DON'T Have Energy Independence - Robert Samuelson could not make a clearer case for drilling. But the Democrats do not want lower prices. They do not want America to have energy independence. What they want is more power over your lives, and thus they have prevented for eight years a President who could have delivered both. This is the state of American politics today. Are you happy, now? “What to do about oil? First it went from $60 to $80 a barrel, then from $80 to $100 and now to $120. Perhaps we can persuade OPEC to raise production, as some senators suggest; but this seems unlikely. The truth is that we're almost powerless to influence today's prices. We are because we didn't take sensible actions 10 or 20 years ago. If we persist, we will be even worse off in a decade or two. The first thing to do: Start drilling.” (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: WHAT YOU SEE IS STILL WHAT YOU GET - Watch the video at this link and you will see why I remain a fan of George W. Bush and will continue to like him and stand behind him as President despite flaws and missteps (thank you, Gerard). The last time I felt this way about a US President was Ronald Reagan, who also managed to evoke a visceral hatred from many of my peers and colleagues for the same sort of moral clarity. History has since vindicated Mr. Reagan, and I believe it will do the same with Mr. Bush, who--whatever his failings--has, IMHO, got the one thing that is most important in our generation absolutely correct. And he has unflinchingly faced its reality with a clarity that is stunning for any politician, despite the unpopularity it has brought him, and despite all the anger, rage and hate that has been directed at him for it. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Please Let The Sun Go Down On Me - One of the bigger political issues of the last election and the current one are the so-called Bush tax cuts that were enacted in the early days of his administration. They were passed with a finite life, and they are set to expire soon. The Republican argument is "they were good, and we should keep them;" the Democrats say "let them expire." (This brings up an interesting point: the Democrats argue that this won't constitute a tax hike, but a simple return to the "natural" level of taxation from the "unnatural" level under the Bush plan. I tend to think that argument is a load of horse crap; if the government takes more of a percentage of my money than in a previous year, that's a hike, no matter what you call it -- a "redefinition" of tax brackets, an "expiration" of a lower percentage, an "adjustment" for inflation, or whatever you call it. But I digress.) This got me thinking: why not put expiration dates on more laws? In fact, why not put a "sunset provision" on most laws? (READ MORE)

Cassy Fiano: Are Republicans as equal as the Code Pinkos? - I guess we'll see. They've asked for a protest permit with the same privileges as the Code Pinkos... in Berkeley. Who's betting that their request will be denied? “The Berkeley College Republicans are looking to get the same permit privileges that anti-war group Code Pink use to protest outside the Marine recruiting center in Downtown Berkeley. Working with Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the group is asking for sound waiver permits and a parking spot reservation outside the center on Wednesdays from 12 to 4 p.m., the same time Code Pink protests outside the center, said Kimberly Wagner, activism chair for the Berkeley College Republicans.” (READ MORE)

McQ: Rethinking women in combat - I'm an old dog and I've resisted the concept for years. But I'm rethinking it now in light of what the many women who've served in Iraq and Afghanistan have done - in combat. I still resist putting them in combat MOSs, such as infantry or armor. I don't think women should serve as infantrymen, and while I'm sure that there will be some who howl in protest, there's a certain aspect of male bonding which occurs in combat that is both necessary and desirable that the inclusion of women would, in my opinion, upset. And my experience says that sort of a relationship among combat infantrymen is critical to their success. So to be hones, there are circumstances in which I think a "no women allowed" rule still makes sense. But not because they're necessarily unable to handle combat. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Laura Bush Derangement Syndrome - Looks like a lot like bulimia as sexist SF Chron lefty Mark Morford brings up a lukewarm puddle of half-digested feminist junkfood cliches in this slam on Laura Bush: “Docile doormat … prim, sexless, nearly useless.” Irony abounds as he sings praises of Teresa Heinz who, as not a few people noted at the time, probably would have made a better candidate than her docile doormat of a sexless, nearly useless husband. A Republican candidate, no less … Morford left out the parts about her being a Republican named Heinz until husband No. 2 started running, at which point she became a Democrat named Kerry. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Pork did not bring down the St. Anthony Bridge - Few appreciate anti-pork efforts as much as I do, and John McCain has a long and distinguished track record in this area. However, he allowed himself to get carried away in Pennsylvania while campaigning against pork. McCain told reporters that the bridge collapse last August in Minneapolis occurred because of pork-barrel spending, which is just flat out wrong (via Memeorandum and Instapundit): “Republican John McCain said Wednesday that the bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people last year would not have happened if Congress had not wasted so much money on pork-barrel spending.” (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Democracy in Iraq is an Earthquake in the Arab World - Wonder why Arab countries don’t seem to be supporting Iraq’s new democracy? Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh tells Al-Salam TV on April 7, 2008 it’s because the other Arab countries see what happened to Saddam Hussein and believe if they don’t change their ways, their turn will come. Democracy runs counter to Islamic states in which leadership is generally inherited or believed have been empowered to them by Allah, and they believe they have a holy mandate to rule the people. Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh on Al-Salam TV on April 2, 2008: (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Which country does the US State Department serve? - I’ve written extensively about the role Mexican consular offices play in coordinating subversion of our immigration laws across the country. As I’ve noted before, the Mexican consulates are well-funded, well-organized, and everywhere. Thanks to their influence, the Bush White House ignored homeland security warnings about the illegal alien Mexican matricula consular cards and allowed the phony baloney cards to proliferate as Treasury Department-approved ID. Mexican consular meddling has dangerously hampered border enforcement. Heather Mac Donald has reported exhaustively on the Mexican government’s growing power and influence in working to sabotage immigration enforcement efforts. One congressman is trying to get the State Department to do something about these meddling, sovereignty-undermining consulates. He’s not having much luck. (READ MORE)

Kim Zigfeld: Obama in the Headlights - It seems that Real Clear Politics has nailed Barack Obama dead to rights on Jeremiah Wright. Though I despise Obama, I can't say I'm pleased about this. It could well bring calls for Obama to back out of the race, putting the more-dangerous Clinton candidacy back in play. He's bottomed out just a few weeks too soon, damn him (though perhaps leftist MSM coverage won't play broad enough and make the connection clearly enough during the primary cycle to finish him off that early)! Then again, this guy is such a dangerous freak that maybe it's better for the nation to take zero chance he will win office. RCP points out that Wright told the New York Times in March 2007 that he had been "dis-invited" from Obama's announcement of candidacy the month before, and that Obama had told him: "You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public." (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Arab Mind Meets the Singularity - [Due to time constraints, the next post in The Arab Mind will be delayed; this post is related but much more speculative and imagines how the Arab Mind will deal with the coming technological changes, which has been called the Singularity.] In the first eleven posts in my series on The Arab Mind, I have tried to describe some of the child rearing practices and cultural trends that contribute to the development of a personality style and culture that are particularly poorly adapted to tolerate and facilitate change. Arab culture has been relatively static for a thousand years and the Arab world has reacted to the threat of change engendered by contact with the West and other non-Muslims, by attacking and forcing the offending peoples to submit to Islam. This worked for the Arab world as long as change could be easily kept at a distance. The modern world is making this traditional manner of cultural self-defense unworkable. (READ MORE)

The Sundries Shack: Breaking News: Global Warming Now Includes a Natural Cooling Trend of Ten Years. And the Ten Years Before That, Too. - When we last checked in on the actual science of global warming, we found that the planet hasn’t actually been warming over the past ten years and that this past year’s cooling completely wiped out the entire warming trend for the past century. Don’t worry, though. This year’s sure to bring back the warming, right? Errr….no. Of course, we all know that one year does not a trend make. So how are those predictions looking over, say, the next ten years? Colder, you say? Oh dear. So this guy, who’s been derided as a lunatic and a “denier” was actually right? Like, completely right with his prediction? Gosh. There’s plenty of “never mind that thermometer” quotes below the the jump. They’re not to be missed. (READ MORE)

Warren Wilkins: Iraq: The New Vietnam - From the initial political debate to the advent of the Iraqi insurgency, certain pundits have lamented the disastrous parallels between the current conflict in Iraq and America’s intervention in Vietnam. At first, the blithely opined comparisons seemed largely superficial, and many remain so despite the passage of time and continued conflict in Iraq. Yet now, with the benefit of added perspective, the oft repeated canard that Iraq is like another “Vietnam” may indeed have merit. Just not in the way a segment of our punditry has previously suggested. In Iraq, much like in Vietnam four decades ago, there exists a certain reticence on the matter of destabilizing foreign/external influences in the principle theater of American military operations (Iraq now, South Vietnam then). (READ MORE)

David Bernstein: A Remarkable Definition of Terrorism from Jimmy Carter - Carter on Charlie Rose (Transcript from Nexis): "I think any time any powerhouse takes military action when it's a high danger or almost an inevitability that women and children are going to be killed, I think that can be considered an act of terrorism, yes." Note that Carter's definition of "terrorism" means that no "powerhouse" can ever fight any war, no matter how justified, without being guilty of "terrorism" just as bad as the likes of Hamas (see below) or Al Qaeda--war, after all, just about always means a high danger of civilian casualties. (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: Hillary Clinton vs. Bill O’Reilly - Back to business, or in the case of the Tygrrrr Express, politics. Hillary Clinton may be more craven than the average politician, but she is no dummy. With her campaign on the verge of being nothing more than a spectacular collapse, she is determined to try everything and anything. Her latest act of desperation involves going on the O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly. When she was trying to win the hearts and what passes for minds of the leftist lunatics that hate anything and everything that is decent and right, she bragged about standing up to Bill O’Reilly. She was basically Christopher Dodd with breasts (Then again, his years of drinking…never mind). Now that her campaign is on the verge of resembling that of Mr. Dodd, right down to the drinking shots, she has given up on the fringes and decided to triangulate back to the center. (READ MORE)

Congressman John Campbell: The Pelosi Premium - Almost two years ago to the day, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), announced that she had a 'commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices (Release 4/24/06).' With gas prices hovering precariously close to $4 a gallon, I can't help but wonder when this commonsense plan is going to show up. Despite the elaborate rhetoric Speaker Pelosi has fed to the American people, she doesn't really have a ‘commonsense plan’ to bring gas prices down. In fact since January of 2007, when Democrats took control of Congress, the price of gas was $2.33; today the average price of gas is $3.62. A $1.29 increase is just over a year. That is a 55% increase since the beginning of the 110th Congress. (READ MORE)

A Newt One: War News: On The Leftinistra 100 Years War Quagmire - Self-Induced - Dingos. As the Leftinistra slip into the Abyss of Obscurity, we can hear them as they wail and gnash their teeth. Grasping at issue straws has become their downfall into their total irrelevance and insignificance. One such straw is the 100 Years War non-issue issue. They love those because they have no real issues in which to participate in. Period. The emotional child known as Cernig is merely one in a long list of emotional hacks that have no earthly idea as to the LONG TERM enemy we face. Period. Out of total and complete ignorance bordering on stupidity, the Leftinistra willfully ignore the Global Jihad being waged on every continent. Period. They are not to be trusted with buttering their own toast let alone trying to define and create policies of any sort. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: What Happens When The Breadbasket Runs Dry? - The Washington Post reports on a disturbing trend. America's farmers are significantly reducing the amount of wheat they are planting and turning to more lucrative crops (yes, we seem to be on a farm trend this evening). “‘Wheat was king once,’ said David Braaten, whose Norwegian immigrant grandparents built their Kindred, N.D., farm around wheat a century ago. ‘Now I just don't want to grow it. It's not a consistent crop.’ In the 1980s, more than half the farm's acres were wheat. This year only one in 10 will be, and 40 percent will go to soybeans. Braaten and other farmers are considering investing in a $180 million plant to turn the beans into animal feed and cooking oil, both now in strong demand in China. And to stress his hopes for ethanol, his business card shows a sketch of a fuel pump.” (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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